Lee Birdwhistell
Activist, Human Rights Advocate, Writer

Lee Birdwhistell is an aspiring writer with experience in both political activism and the nonprofit sector. She is a native Kentuckian whose international travels inspired her return to work with and for the people of Kentucky. She holds a B.A. in Philosophy, with a focus on Social and Political Philosophy, from Georgetown College, and an M.A. in International Development and Organizations from the University of Kentucky's Patterson School of Diplomacy.

Following her undergraduate studies, Lee completed a year of service in San Francisco with the Lutheran Volunteer Corps, where she worked with Eviction Defense Collaborative to prevent homelessness and preserve affordable housing for the city's most vulnerable populations. The experience culminated with research and production of a report on city-wide eviction activity that helped secure additional funding for housing arbitration and homelessness prevention initiatives.

Her work on Kentucky's gubernatorial race inspired her to explore the growing rural-urban divide between Kentucky voters and to consider how progressive political campaigns can better combat rural voter apathy and partisan insularity. She previously worked as a Human Resources Coordinator (and barista!) for A Cup of Commonwealth, an opportunity she used to facilitate training and conversations about greater accessibility and diversity in hiring practices.

She draws inspiration from social activist and philosopher Jane Addams and, like Addams, wants to explore the power of intentional, inclusive communities to bring about social change. She is committed to building community through service — whether that be through serving coffee, lobbying for human rights with Amnesty International, or engaging voters to participate in the political process.